12,284 Reviews of History Tours
Great Trip, Great Service, Absolutely Amazing Views June 20185.0
The trek was still quite challenging with many mountains to climb over (the guide called them hills ha ha) before we eventually started to follow the valley line up the mountains towards Base Camp. The accommodation was pretty basic (tea houses) in each village we stopped and the temperature kept getting lower the more we climbed. But once we got to base camp the view was amazing and we were so glad that we decided to do this trip. It was pretty hard, but the memories of being surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world was worth all the effort.
I would recommend that trip to anybody with a moderate level of fitness Read more
Operator Epic Adventures
Honest Feedback as we just got back from our trip June 20184.0
Did NOT Disappoint
We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! June 20185.0
AND, as a special treat, the owner of the company was our tour captain. We tried several things that may be included in future itineraries. In the course of 9 days nothing flustered him. Everything was taken in stride, dealt with and resolved quickly. Nothing interfered with his fantastic service to his guests. We were not customers in any sense of the word. There was never a hint that Story was trying to watch the budget.
For those of you reading this and trying to decide, there are some things you need to consider. (When you have questions, call. You'll find that the Story help line is very knowledgeable and helpful.)
Small group - There were 15 people on our tour (16 is maximum). The tour caption had the time to get to know all of us. We saw lots of groups that appeared to be 40-50 people! You get to decide which is best for you. The smaller group = higher cost. We thought that it was easily worth it.
Walking - There is a lot of walking on this tour. There is always the option to use a taxi to get from place to place (extra cost). Some of the people on the tour with us had apps to count steps. Most showed more than 10,000 at noon time! MANY of those steps are on stairs and rough/cobble stone streets. Many of the stairs are inside attractions - not between them – so they can’t be avoided. By the end of our nine days, some tour group members were opting out of some planned activities. Opinion: If you can't complete a three mile walk, over uneven terrain, at a three mph pace (that's faster than most people walk), comfortably; get in shape. You’ll never do a constant three mile walk, on the tour – but it’ll feel like it.
Weather - We had fantastic weather! Temperature in the mid/low 70's and two sprinkles in nine days. Mostly sunshine. A great time to go.
Crowds - On the other hand, it wasn't such a great time to go. The crowds of tourists were overwhelming, everywhere except Cortona. I.E.: Our private, skip-the-line guided tour of the Vatican was especially BAD. We waited in line for about an hour and then once inside, we were literally shoulder to shoulder for the remaining two - three hours. It was nearly impossible to enjoy/understand what we were seeing. We spent more time trying to keep in sync with the group than looking at the art. The Sistine Chapel was NOT worth the time it took to get there. This was not something that Story could control. If the Vatican is important to you, go some other time of the year! If you are there during the busy season, opt out. There are thousands of fantastic things to see in Rome that won't be busy.
Security - We had a tour guide point out a small group of gypsy/pick-pockets as we exited the Vatican and steered us around them. That was the only "issue" in nine days - not a big deal. But, we were reminded to be "vigilant" many times - especially around crowds.
Navigation - Venice, Florence and Rome are VERY difficult to get around. There are many streets/alleys that run in apparently random directions. The maps available through hotels/tourist agents are not in adequate detail. Consider a hand-held GPS navigation system MANDITORY. Our phone did not have cell connectivity, so we down loaded the Google map. It worked once. Be very careful that you have a navigation device that works! Download a local map and test, test, test in airplane mode (?) before you go.
Driving – If you are going to Italy and renting a car, during the busy season, Venice allows no cars, problem solved. Driving in Florence and ESPECIALLY Rome is crazy. You've been forewarned.
Hotels - As it says, the hotels are in the center of the city/attractions. For example: the hotel in Rome was 200 feet from the Pantheon! This means that some of the buildings are more than 1,500 years old. You'll get used to seeing corners that you'd think should be 90 degrees, but aren't. Be prepared to spend time learning how things work and how to find your room - it'll be different from hotel to hotel and what you are used to! WiFi worked good in each hotel, except Rome. (See review of Grand Hotel de Minirva on TripAdvisor)
Operator Story Land & Sea
80% great, 20% a waste of valuable time April 20184.0
It broke my heart that the one day in Tokyo was such a waste of time. Please, taking us to a mediocre mall and a car exhibit, what were you thinking? There should of been two days allotted to that fabulous city to see the real sites. Also, I am an adult and making sushi for four year old was a huge insult and should be skipped at all costs. Also I believe that the trip to Nari should be included as part of the trip and not an optional tour.
Except for breakfasts, the food was cafeteria grade at best and repetitive. You could do better. The best food was that which we picked ourselves.
I would never recommend going in cherry blossom time. There were 80 buses lined up to get into the outdoor sites. Buy a postcard and put it on your wall, or better yet, visit Washington DC. I would recommend this trip if modifications were made. Read more
Operator Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)